Facebook on Monday launched a free independent app to create and watch video games streamed on Android devices.
About 700 million users have participated in gaming on the platform, but with its dedicated app, Facebook is locking down the market’s leading players – Amazon, Google, and Microsoft.
The company will release the Facebook Gaming app for iOS devices after apple’s approval. It was originally scheduled for release in June, but strong growth in the live game market prompted the company to deliver sooner, The New York Times reported on Sunday.
Michael Goodman, director of digital communications at Strategy Analytics, a Newton research, consulting and analytics firm, commented: “Live streaming is a growing opportunity before the epidemic occurs and it will be a long chance of growth after the epidemic passes.”
“What has changed the calculation here is that Facebook has accelerated its plans to release this app to take advantage of the fact that people are streaming more from home,” he told linkgame.
Goodman added: “It sees it as an opportunity to get some motivation to adopt this service at this time.
The hot market in the ailing world
Live streaming games are a significant growth area in the market.
Goodman noted: “Facebook prioritizes large markets and has significant growth potential. The streaming game fits both of those criteria.”
“Game streaming has seen a significant worldwide increase in viewer viewers and hours spent on all platforms since the COVID-19 pans.
“I’m not surprised that Facebook accelerated and launched this app,” he told linkgame.
Mark N. Vena, senior analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy, a technology consulting and analytics firm based in Austin, Texas, said entering the live game arena was a natural move by Facebook.
He told TechNewsWorld: “As Facebook’s global footprint continues to be enormous, a game-specific app is a natural extension of their reach and influence.
“They don’t include in-app ads – at least for now – so their monetity opportunities are quite limited, but that can change over time,” Vena said.
The app allows Facebook to create a more serious competitive threat to Amazon’s Twitch and Google’s YouTube to stream video games, he added.
Facebook sees live games as a significant growth area.
Nick Maynard, the chief analyst at Juniper Research, market research, forecasting and consulting firm in Basingstoke, UK, said: “The rise of game streaming on YouTube, Twitch, and Mixer by [Microsoft] is remarkable.
He told TechNewsWorld that initial monetity would be limited, fans could only pay a small one-time for content creators, but Facebook was committed to exploring additional ways to monet the app in the future, he told TechNewsWorld. Some features of the new app will appeal to users.
Maynard commented: “They get seamless access to games, as well as increased engagement with content creators.
He continued: “The prospect of streaming mobile games through the app is also interesting, as it will allow users to participate and become content creators.”
Facebook users have been able to access game content through a Web browser on a computer or mobile device, but there are several advantages to a single app.
“This is partly about providing an app-based alternative that’s often more customizable and has a better user interface, and opens apps with in-stream ads,” explains IDC’s Ward.
However, “Twitch and others have made a name for him in this market,” Maynard points out. “Facebook will have to offer some very innovative features and get big content creators on their platform to make it appealing to users.”
Goodman of Strategy Analytics said that the majority of popular game streaming people are contract-locked, so Facebook will have to grow its market share differently from the big players.
“This is not a green opportunity for Facebook. This is a longstanding market with some pretty big players already involved,” he said.
“Facebook has a remarkable record with separate apps,” Goodman commented, “so the question isn’t, “Will Facebook stream the game successfully?” ” – they streamed the game successfully – but ‘Will they succeed in separating separate streaming games?’ “
Ease of use can attract users to the Facebook app.
“I think it will be popular with many users because unlike other live gaming services, it generally does not require dedicated third-party software and hardware to broadcast games,” Moor Insights’ Vena noted.
On the other side, there may be an unsoming aspect to the app.
Vena explains: “The new app includes regular games, popular with older users but may not be for young gamers who like console or PC gaming, like Fortnite and popular games, with higher graphics.
The NYT noted that the game is a global market worth US$160 billion. This year, the market is booming.
Ward noted: “There has been a very clear increase in game streaming globally since January 1.
As online gaming becomes more competitive, more gamers are turning to streaming to improve their performance, Maynard explained.
“They also see how they play to access content from their favorite gamers,” he said.
In addition, integration in the game platform and access to streaming tools have democratized content, meaning streaming is becoming more accessible, Maynard points out.
Vena noted that the ability to provide greater bandwidth and faster wireless connectivity has driven the expansion of the gaming market over the past few years.
“The overall online gaming experience also becomes easier, in general, at the PC and console level, allowing more users to experience without problems,” he said. “On top of that, COVID-19 has become a powerful breeze to watch games and play games online, as kids and teenagers are spending more time at home,” says Vena.